Originally released at full price under the name 'The Chess Game', Night Walker takes you deep into your worst nightmare where, instead of actually playing chess, you have to meet all the pieces in a series of individual battles, complete with a crowd hurling abuse and fireballs at you, just to liven things up if you look like winning too easily.
You start with five pawns and must manoeuvre them to the other side of the board. Contact with the opposing piece, being hit by a fireball, falling off the edge of the board or stepping onto a red square results in your piece taking an early bath. It is the colouring of the squares that involve a considerable amount of strategical thining on your part.
To start with, they are the normal black and white. As you step onto a square, it changes to blue. When the enemy moves onto a blue square, it changes to red and becomes impassable. As you may have to cross the board up to nine times (five pieces plus four return journeys) you must plan your trips so that you use as few squares as possible. The challenges get considerably harder for each new level and some of the higher level combinations are really nasty.
You will also find that a different strategy is needed for each level.
The game is presented in a very attractive 3D perspective and looks most attractive, although I found that this led to problems judging things at the far edge of the board.
This is an original and highly enjoyable game that could have been made excellent if a few more player options had been included such as being able to practise different levels or start from different places.
The scoring system could also have been tidied up - 10 points for every pawn across with a 20 point penalty for pausing the game is a trifle harsh. But, despite these minor grumbles, Night Walker combines a nice mix of arcade action and strategy and is well worth a look.